Biz Stone & Chrysi Philalithes

(RED) Ambassador, Co-founder of Twitter & Jelly Industries. Chief Digital Strategist (RED)

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON December 01, 2016

Discussion

Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
Hi Product Hunters. December first is World AIDS Day. I have been working with Product (RED) for more than a decade. (It’s one of the reasons Bono invested in my latest startup, Jelly.) I’d like to chat about achieving an AIDS free generation. As an official (RED) Ambassador, I’ve been helping to spread the word for years. One of the first big things I did for (RED) was turn all of Twitter the color red on World Aids Day. That was a long time ago when I was still the pixel-pusher. I’m expecting questions about companies I’ve founded — most notably Twitter, Medium, and Jelly. (I doubt anyone will want to ask about my first startup, Xanga unless they are truly old school.) However, we want to keep this chat to the subject of World Aids Day if possible. Thanks! Biz Stone, Co-founder and CEO Jelly Industries, Inc. Hi Folks, I’m web 1.0. First start up in 2000 – founding team member of Espotting, Europe’s first paid search network. Yep, before the days of AdWords! We built Espotting to 250 people across 8 European countries before exiting for around $200 million. Came to (RED) 8 years ago with the belief that social media should be used for social good. Biz & the Twitter team were the first to say ‘yes’ to our crazy ideas of doing digital firsts – they turned the whole of Twitter (RED) – literally! And from there (RED) became the first non profit to reach over 1 million on both Facebook & Twitter, we raised $3MM with Snapchat last year with their first global filter for good and yesterday we launched Games for (RED) exclusively on the App Store with (RED)’s flagship partner Apple. (RED) is 10 years old this year. We’ve raised over $360 MILLION. 100% goes to fight AIDS. We put innovation and creativity at our core. We work like a start-up – there are just 20 people at (RED). Our digital mantra….in 140 characters of course: ‘Dialogue not monologue. Participation not promotion. Leading not following. Empowering not excluding. Inspiring not forcing.’ Chrysi Philalithes Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
Hi Everyone! Thanks for being here.
Stuart Campbell@rhizaboveit · CEO and Co-Founder of Rhiz
@biz @chrysi Thanks for doing this today. Best of luck with (Red)!
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
Okay, time to get back to work on askjelly.com. Thanks everyone who joined this chat. Remember, Shop (RED) save lives! I’m getting some of those S’well (RED) bottles at red.org. Gotta stay hydrated.
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@biz Thanks everyone for joining our Live Chat! And thank you Product Hunt!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@chrysi @biz huge thanks to you both for getting through so many of our varied questions! 😻
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@ems_hodge @biz thanks for having us! It was great fun!
Oscar@oss8 · Economist by training but techy by heart
Hi Biz and thanks for the time! What'd be your top advice as co-founder / CEO when projects start turning sour and meeting the goals is at risk?
Pierre-Marie Galite@tsunaze · mobile developer & advice giver
Hey Biz, thanks for the Live : 1. If you could talk to your 10 years younger self about RED, what would you say? (Same question for Chrysi) 2. You worked on companies that is all about community, how do you build a community?
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@tsunaze Hi Pierre, 10 years ago when I saw (RED) emerge, I LOVED the idea of a non-profit that was doing it the right way. So I'd probably say to myself, the same thing I said then. "This is awesome, how can I help?"
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@tsunaze Regarding building community, it's tough. But, if you can manage to communicate abundantly, share a lot, and build tools that allow people to "see" each other or "find" each other networks will grow. You have to tend to them like a garden though because they can grow wrong if you don't.
Taufiq Husain@taufiqhusainca · Managing Director at Polar Hills.
I have questions for you both. Biz: If you could be the Founder or CEO of any company aside from your own companies today, which would it be? Why? Chrysi: Why did you personally choose to work with (RED) of all the social issues plaguing the world? Any personal story behind it? Thanks!
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@taufiqhusainca Hey taufiq, I hadn't thought of another company I would be CEO of but since you asked, maybe Coca-Cola. The reason being, they have the world's most impressive distribution service—they could, for example, deliver the WFP One Red Cup to kids all around the world.
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@taufiqhusainca Hi! Thanks for asking. 10 years ago I saw Bono launch (RED) on Oprah and fell in love with the (RED) model. (RED) was changing the game with how brands approached philanthropy - it was re-inventing it. And as a marketer I fell in love with the model - it made business sense and (RED) was putting creativity and innovation at it's heart.
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@taufiqhusainca Also, Coke is a (RED) partner. Check out my piece, on Coke. https://medium.com/armchair-ceo/...
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@taufiqhusainca Another thing, I love working with (RED) because we can achieve an AIDS free generation in my lifetime. However, it's not the only social issue I have dedicated time and resources to. Donorschoose.org is another of my fav's.
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
Biz, how has your experience in tech been utilised to help grow (RED)s profile?
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@ayrton One big thing I did back in the day was turn all of Twitter the color red for World AIDS day. I believe it was 2009 when I was still designing product and pushing pixels.
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@biz @ayrton Big. It was huge! Biz & the Twitter team put (RED) on the social media map.
Devansh Trivedi@d3v4n5h · Entrepreneur, Fqwerty.co
How did you find cofounders? And how long did it take?
Pradeep Sharma@pradeep_io · Serial techpreneur, developer, reader
Hi Biz! There are always ups and downs in life. What do you do when you feel down? What are your sources of inspiration?
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
What can startup founders learn from (RED)’s success a relatively small, but mighty charity?
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@andrewett (RED) is like a start up - we're just 20 people! Be focused. Drive impact. It's not about having limited resources. It's about having great ideas.
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
Will you ever turn Twitter red again? How did that happen and what was the overall impact?
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hey Biz and Chrysi! Thanks for taking the time. What have been the most effective messages to mobilize people to participate/share/donate to the cause? Also, what doesn't work?
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@theo_dimarhos Thanks for joining! For (RED) we try to inspire people to want them to take part and give them easy and fun ways to get involved doing the things they already love doing - shopping, gaming, eating!
Joshua Talley@joshuatalley · Sales Operations Manager, Grundfos
I haven't seen the same kind of push for (RED) on Android as I have on iOS. Given that a large part of the world uses Android, is there an opportunity here for education as well as participation?
Paul Duplantis@paulduplantis
I personally believe the best course for solving any major problem (AIDS) is the dissemination and sharing of knowledge. What are the top 3 tools you see online for helping to crowdsource knowledge?
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@paulduplantis Hey Paul, I totally agree. Every company I have helped build or founded, Xanga, Blogger, Twitter, Medium, and now Jelly are about removing the friction of sharing and disseminating knowledge in one form or another.
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@paulduplantis There's unlikely a "top 3" because all platforms have the potential to be powerful in this way. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Paul Duplantis@paulduplantis
@biz True. I imagine it is more about the application of the platform than anything else. Interesting article on crowdsourcing on mobile devices to identify cancer cells. I wish we could see more of this on all platforms.http://scienceblog.cancerresearc...
Selene@seyvar · data analyst, datadotworld
It seems to me that (RED) is a born digital non-profit.... Can you talk about how your presence in social media has helped folks that would not normally/historically participate in philanthropy contribute to your organization?
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@seyvar I love this question. Thank you for asking! Biz & I talk about how both Twitter and (RED) were born the same year - 2006! Social media is so powerful in raising awareness, keep heat on this issue, and inspire people to act. We saw that when Biz, Jack & Ev turned Twitter (RED). Last year we raised $3MM with Snapchat's first ever global filter with the Gates Foundation. And just yesterday we launched Games for (RED) - exclusively on the App Store - 20 of the most beloved games have turned (RED) with 100% proceeds going to fight AIDS. We're reaching people we may not otherwise reach.
Bryna Corcoran@brynatweets · VP, Digital Marketing
I have many research scientists in my network. Budgets, like those from the NIH, have been drastically slashed over the last 20 years and they will likely continue to be gutted under a Republican President. Many of these brilliant folks are becoming discouraged, and many are seeking new professions (i.e. becoming teaching professors, moving to biotech, marketing, abandoning bench science altogether). How can we stop the talent from bleeding so we can continue to march towards a cure for diseases like Aids?
Bret Gladfelty@bglad · Macroeconomic Analyst & Wordpress Guru
Hi Biz & Chrysi! Thanks for joining! My first question is for Chrysi and the second is for Biz. 1. President Obama tweeted today "Today, we honor those who are leading the fight against HIV/AIDS. Because of them, an AIDS-free generation is now within our reach." Are we really in reach? And if we are in reach of an AIDS-free generation, what is the 2nd most important health issue/s for the LGBTQ Community? 2. Biz, I am working on developing a new social app. Imagine you could go back 16 years ago and give yourself a mantra, what would it be? Thank you in advance!
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@bglad President Obama is 100% right. When we talk about an AIDS Free Generation we are referring to ending the transmission of HIV from mums to their babies. Here are the facts. 10 years ago, 1200 babies were born with HIV every day. Today 400 babies are born with HIV every day. We can get that close to zero by 2020. Imagine that! In just a few years we can make sure a generation is born HIV free. What does it take to do that? Getting HIV+ pregnant women access to medicine. Medicine that now costs 30 cents a day in sub-Saharan Africa. And if we do achieve an AIDS Free Generation by 2020 then we would have hit one of the milestones to ending AIDS by 2030. That's the opportunity we all have. But we're at risk of not achieving those goals unless we act now. Thanks for asking your great question.
Jack Dweck@jackdweck · Product Manager at Unroll.Me
Hi Biz! I was an active Jelly user when it first launched a couple of years back. What are some of the biggest lessons you learned from its failure and what prompted the decision to work on Jelly 2.0?
Biz Stone@biz · Co-founder and CEO
@jackdweck We learned big lessons and took an entirely new approach for askjelly.com. Asking anonymously was key. (Imagine if your Google searches where also your Tweets!) Lots of other lessons learned as well. Jelly 2.0 is working and can scale.
Hi Biz, thank you for taking your time answering our questions. Was there anything you would make different if you would launch twitter a second time? And: Why 140? Did any research go into that decision? Psychological research? Why not 130 or 150? Was it just random?
Stuart Campbell@rhizaboveit · CEO and Co-Founder of Rhiz
@joonas_d, @biz can elaborate but it was the SMS limit. Twitter we know was a bit of a pivot, yeah? http://www.adweek.com/socialtime...
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Biz and Chrysi thanks for joining us today. What are some of the ways people can get involved with supporting (RED)?
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@ems_hodge There are SO many fun and easy ways to get involved. Here are just 3: 1. This holiday season SHOP (RED) SAVE LIVES at the (SHOPATHON)RED. It runs through December – perfect for holiday gifting! Through December there are over 200 incredible products that fight AIDS. Go to www.red.org 2. Also as part of the (RED) SHOPATHON you can donate $10 for the chance to win incredible celebrity experiences at www.omaze.com/red - Go backstage VIP at The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Carpool Karaoke or be Richard Branson’s VIP guest at a mystery Virgin event or you could even have tea with Bono & Julia Roberts and tell them your problems, or have a private performance from U2 and so many more. 3. PLAY (RED). GIVE LIFE WITH GAMES FOR (RED) - AppStore.com/GamesForRED - Until Dec 6 the App Store’s got a fun way to join (RED) in the fight to end AIDS called Games For (RED). 20 games. 100% of the proceeds go directly to (RED)’s fight to end. Exclusively on iOS. There's something for everyone this World AIDS Day!
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Do profit and purpose need to be an either / or?
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@andrewett Thanks for the question! Absolutely not. We believe that companies that do good, do well. It's great seeing companies such as Warby Parker and Headspace grown and flourish.
Stuart Campbell@rhizaboveit · CEO and Co-Founder of Rhiz
@chrysi @andrewett We're actually emulating Warby Parker's passive 3BL model with our app Rhiz, Inc. It's inspiring to see it done before you commit, to know you're on the right track. Awesome question
Stuart Campbell@rhizaboveit · CEO and Co-Founder of Rhiz
@chrysi @biz any big/new initiatives for (Red) we can tweet out?
Chrysi Philalithes@chrysi · Chief Digital Strategist (RED)
@rhizaboveit Thanks Stuart! There's lots! Follow @RED on Twitter and RT away!
Stuart Campbell@rhizaboveit · CEO and Co-Founder of Rhiz
@chrysi @red @biz Done! Take care,